Life, Myth, and the American Family Unreeling
The Spiritual Significance of Movies for the 20th Century
This book is about what movies do for us. It is about how movies exhibit the contradictions, truths, and fantasies surrounding our bedrock American beliefs in things held sacred, including, in this case, our creed of family. It is about why we again and again attend the dark universal tabernacles in which these sermons are offered.
The depth of analysis offered here will also bring new insights to those concerned with parenting issues, self understanding, and media consciousness — all increasingly relevant areas of concern in contemporary life. And, for those interested in telling stories that will truly “move” the rest of us, this book will serve as a secret doorway to the inner sanctum of human characters responding to the places and times of their lives.
Finally, this book will bring revelation and liberation to reader’s lives by showing them how to look
through movies into themselves as they have never done before. In the specific examples of archetypal
life journeys illuminated through these films, they will experience empathy with the ineffability of
their existence. And, in transubstantiating with these movie characters amidst history, culture, and
family, they will journey through their own conundrums in arcs that bring them moments of
About the Author
Jeffry John Stein was born on Long Island and educated at Dartmouth and Stanford. He was a motion picture development and production executive in Hollywood, and is now a screenwriter and novelist. He teaches his special brand of film courses in workshops around the country, and at the Watkins College of Art and Design Film School where he was a founding faculty member. He has also taught at Tennessee State and National Universities. He lives on a wooded hilltop in Tennessee with his artist wife and two daughters.